tv [untitled] February 8, 2012 1:00pm-1:30pm EST
federal reserve chairman ben bernanke said on the hill today you have all that and more for tonight including a dose of happy hour but first take a look at the mainstream media decided to miss. last week we all saw the insane amount of money the outside groups have been pouring in to the campaign season in just the first four primary states documents show the outside groups spending on ads had risen sixteen hundred percent we also saw a g.o.p. centered super pacs were far away collecting more money than the left and so what you know looks like this made president obama have a change of heart as he's now signed off on a plan to dispatch cabinet officials senior advisers at the white house and top campaign staff members to deliver speeches at fund raising events for priorities usa that's the largest democratic super pac now this new policy the mainstream media all abuzz today. president obama is now giving the go ahead to wealthy
democratic donors to contribute to a super pac supporting him the obama campaign changing its position on super pacs in response to the massive amounts of money raised by those republican groups president obama makes a u.-turn deciding now for his team to help raise campaign cash for super pac the president's campaign manager says look we cannot fight this campaign with one hand tied behind our back was this inevitable i think it was chris. all right so the question here that they ask is was this inevitable and like i and i said we see said yes personally i'm not so sure on one hand this is a big flip flop and a cave on the part of the president not like we are used to seeing that happen by now but if disconcerting nonetheless at the same time this is a sign of our political system and the problems within it right now there is so much money flooding in from the right that the democrats in obama's reelection campaign obviously felt that they have to play the game if they want to keep their
jobs now i'm going to get chris hedges take on this in our first interview tonight but before we do that let me just delve into one more point that i think needs to be made here do all the effects of citizens united are already drastic and yet really this is still just the beginning there is another way to handle this now this isn't the way that things have to be and so right now we see americans all across the country working fighting to get money out of politics we've seen a number of amendments brought up in congress to overturn this decision amendments that the president by the way said nothing about until today when his people signal that he supported that after caving and telling donors to contribute to priorities usa and we've also seen more than fifty local resolutions and cities to have citizens united overturn that's the right step if we really want the idea of a constitutional amendment to become a possibility it has to start local now this is also a key element brought up by many of the occupy movement we've even seen a few members of the media out there the young turks and dylan ratigan launch
initiatives of their own to undo the damage done by citizens united so at this point it's no secret that there is a public battle that is going on. and if the mainstream media has seemed entirely oblivious to all of it they're happy to report on the figures when it comes to how much is being spent how many hundreds of super pacs there are who are some of the big time donors think the koch brothers and adelson the man with a single handedly funding newt gingrich's campaign but on the other front on the side of the opposition the mainstream media has been almost entirely silent now i say it again with the exception of dylan ratigan a m s n b c but somehow his colleagues have just left it to him to do on his own it's funny too considering that this is the same mainstream media that will often bring on extremes just to try and prove that they show both sides of every story often in a very misleading fashion but hey two people yelling at each other always makes good t.v. right so why is it now when they have figures and stats to talk about the impact of citizens united do they only talk about the president's capitulation and act like
that's just the way that it had to be there is a movement out there public opinion is not in support of the influence of money in our political system we see giving one person insane amounts of power we see transparently completely flying out the window so the people have realized that something is wrong or the mainstream media continues to live in an isolated bubble the only monitor is what's happening at the top echelons they've decided that these are the rules of the game and so those pretend from now on that it's just natural to play that way what so many people want which are amendment city council resolutions you name it that entire movement they've chosen to miss. all right so let's continue on with our discussion of outside movements wanting to change the landscape take the influence of money out of politics wake america up to the rampant inequality and corruption overturning citizens united is just one step
for those that have been monitoring the occupy movement for over the last four months you know that it's about much more but where does public opinion really stand on occupy now the majority of camps have been evicted even more so now that we've seen in some cities most notably oakland vandalism violence come into play and what's meant to be a peaceful movement our guest tonight specifically pinpoints the black bloc anarchists and calls them the cancer within occupy the destroy it so earlier i caught up with chris hedges columnist for truthdig and author of his latest book death of the liberal class i first asked him what he thought about the president's decision to send out his people and tell the donors to give away to super pacs. well he doesn't have any choice because the political system since citizens united in two thousand and ten has been rigged. if you step out of line these super pacs have the capacity to wipe you out. it was the death blow to american democracy it's
a game obama has to play if he wants to retain political power and so he's playing it well i think you could say that he's playing it from both sides as well right because now his aides are coming out saying at the president would support a constitutional amendment to get citizens united overturn but let's segue into the occupy movement right one of their things that's also been getting the influence of money out of politics and yet you are writing about the black bloc and some of their tactics and call them a cancer within this movement can you elaborate why it is that you know you think they're so detrimental. well because they alienate the mainstream i think you have to remember that the occupy movement if you look at all the polls articulate what the mainstream wants. nobody supports the bailouts the pfizer reform act the wars. the. continued failure to help homeowners that are underwater and losing their homes
this disastrous obamacare bill which. is going to force us to buy a defective product essentially you know two thousand pages written by corporate lobbyist so we have to look at the occupy movement as a mainstream movement now the prime mover behind wiping out the occupy encampments was of course a democratic administration and that's because they deeply fear this movement it is called their bluff it has exposed them as corporate puppets in this two party corporate doggedly. i think that they realize that spite the efforts by move on dot org and van jones and others that they are not going to co-opt this movement and so on the one hand they will try to physically a race it we just have the d.c. encampment shutdown and internally they will try and divide it we have to look back into the movements of the one nine hundred sixty s.
to see how divisive. internal security apparatus in the united states can be. there's no doubt that that's happening here and the fastest way to alienate the movement from the mainstream is to paint it as violent destructive of property. and our kids stick in the worst sense of anarchism which is kind of chaotic random attacks against targets spontaneous attacks and so the occupy movement is going to have to draw some very. sharp lines. it's got to stop these block block groups from essential be using them as human shields because remember they're tiny of these groups but they enter these large demonstrations and then use them as a kind of cover to carry out violent activities we've seen it not only in oakland but in denver los angeles in new york. antagonizing and confronting the police
because this is in essence a mainstream movement this is a movement that expresses the will of the mainstream it can't afford to alienate the mainstream and i have no evidence that there are tours but if there are provoke a tour's within this movement i'd bet pretty good money there within the black bloc and even if they are not they are certainly serving the interests of the one percent and you know this is a movement that wants inclusive a-t. and tolerance and a wide variety of opinions but it's got to draw the line on groups that essentially sabotage the work of this mass movement in the black bloc is the most egregious example of well i guess i'm wondering if that was inevitable if it any point if there was going to be some kind of a large movement specifically one that really started out on the streets of people
physically camping that at some point there would. be become more difficult to keep it nonviolent to keep it peaceful and i also i'm curious to do you think they're occupying wall street was always a mainstream movement or you only think that now four and a half months in that's something that you. know i think the reason that it resonated across the country is because it articulated the concerns of the mainstream which are not being articulated either by the corporate media or the political candidates who have descended into that and it is an absurd of these. change the narrative remember before the rise of occupy we were talking about a deficit crisis with the rise of occupy we began to talk about inequality we began to talk about corporate criminality we began to talk about how unfair the american political and economic system is it it reverberated across the country
and the power elite and i think in particular the democratic party was terrified because if it could not co-opt this movement it had the potential to certainly restructure not only the debate but ultimately if it grew very configurations of power and so we shouldn't be surprised that there have been drug kone and forms used to try and wipe these movements out and that has been manifested by the response of these encampments but you can be sure they're working internally just to sit as they have been working externally to get rid of occupy and so in that sense is that you know really a lot about public opinion if let's say there are more black people the end up showing up at more occupy rallies and you know what we constantly see reported on by local government officials and the authorities or you can even say by the media are some of these more violent tactics are cases of vandalism is the movement dead
if that's the perception that gets put out there consistently. you know i mean let's i think a good sort of template for what we don't want to be is how we're portrayed and if you look at how for instance in the days and weeks before the encampment in zuccotti park in new york was shut down if you read the new york post there were portrayed as drug addicts vandals anarchists radicals they the authorities attempted to paint the movement. with exactly these kinds of attributes and that's a pretty good example of what we don't want to be we don't want to play into their hands and the black bloc which are you know primarily white. sort of neela's stick. destructive you know embracing sort of confusing petty vandalism and this repellent sort of cynicism where the revolution. there
are exactly as they conform to the stereotype that the enemies of the movement would like and that's a pretty good window into why they have to be separated from the movement if they were if they really were about confronting the police and confronting corporate power they wouldn't be using the movement to hide behind they would be going out striking out on their own to go after these targets and i think that's because alternately and if you look at sort of radical bloc block logs it's pretty clear that they are an enemy of everything this movement stands for and in particular nonviolence i want to switch gears really quick chris it's been a while since they've gone to catch up with you and you actually filed a lawsuit against the u.s. government because of the n.d.a.
that was passed right that included that provision that allowed for the indefinite military detention of american citizens and so i want to hear more of your reasoning as to why it is that you follow this file this lawsuit i think you like many others of us out there find this to be incredibly scary and unconstitutional and egregious an egregious offense on our civil liberties but at the same time the obama administration while they don't like this being handed over into military control they were already doing many of these things throughout the you from within the executive branch. yes that's correct under the two thousand and one authorization to use mil. terry force act many of these activities were already being carried out including the detention of american citizens without due process that's what happened to jose padilla who was reputed to be one of the hijackers the didn't make a plane held for three and a half years in a military brig without due process it was under the two thousand and one act that the obama administration felt that it could serve as judge jury and executioner and
order the assassination of a u.s. citizen on warlock e. in yemen. so yes but this is a radical interpretation of the two thousand and one act what we see with the national defense authorization act is the codification of this radical assault against basic civil liberties unambiguous li being placed in the u.s. law so not only can the u.s. military sensually it carry out extraordinary rendition on u.s. streets holding american citizens who are deemed to be terrorists or with associated groups i mean there's a lot of very sort of frightening leave vague language in there but then there are in the language of the bill held until the end of hostilities whenever that is this overturns two hundred years of domestic law. and it is in the hands of the state and utterly terrifying weapon the obama administration
has been very disingenuous it issued a signing statement saying that they would not use it against american citizens and yet we should remember that nancy nancy pelosi dianne feinstein proposed legislation or or passage to be inserted into the legislation that would exempt u.s. citizens and this was rejected by the obama white house and rejected by the democratic party all of the struggles over the wording of the bill with carl levin's office it was co-sponsored by carl levin a democrat and john mccain a republican was over who would decide. which american citizens would be swept up in the military dragnet and denied due process and which would be granted exemptions who would have that power the obama white house one of the power for themselves they got it and once they got it they signed the bill into law but it was never a discussion over whether or not americans should be stripped of due process so these are not the kinds of tools we want to hand to the state especially in times
of turmoil and instability i just ask you one last question here to switching gears in regards to the situation in syria and the increasing violence that we see the u.n. security council vote that russia and china vetoed and we saw the russian foreign minister today go and meet with assad what do you think should be done here do you think the international community should intervene you know do you think that there are the people are worried of this might turn out like libya and it will be it in the military intervention. no i don't support intervention and i didn't support intervention in libya beyond stopping that armored column from going into benghazi . you have to remember that. you know it's in a similar situation with libya where you have an alawite minority that still stands firmly behind the assad regime so you're talking about a couple million at least syrians who remain loyal. is unfortunately
descending into a civil war i do support sanctions but not intervention. i want to thank you so much for joining us tonight. thank you. i just ahead on tonight's show we all know there's a lot of spin the goes in selling the war in afghanistan after the break we'll speak with one soldier the just released a report to congress tailing how bad. it was that so much. and which are. on. facebook the barbering is being called a very big deal and many who are people believe the entire tech sector but is the.
we often talk about the difference between the pentagon spent on the war in afghanistan and the council we hear from veterans from journalists from human rights activists and state department workers generals and the secretary of defense will talk about progress and momentum while downplaying statistics that show increases of violence and record breaking troop deaths and so now the war is winding down now that leon panetta has announced the troops will and their combat mission in the middle of two thousand and thirteen you can bet that the obama administration is going to attempt to spin this as a success but one manager some of the classified report to members of congress arguing the department of defense has intentionally and consistently misled the american people and congress when it comes to measuring progress and conduct what is now america's longest war and a colonel daniel davis has also written an eighty six page unclassified version which the d.o.d. has not yet allowed to be released to the public so he joins us tonight to give us
more details here to discuss this with me is general davis u.s. army lieutenant colonel and matthew hoh senior fellow at the center for international policy gentlemen thank you so much for joining us tonight. you know i'm going to start with you or danny and please just tell me why it is that you even wrote a report like this where you were you assigned to something or just after seeing so much experiencing so much you felt the need that you had a story to tell it was the letter i had the job that i had there was required me to travel all over the country and to talk to soldiers at every level from the highest commander to the lowest private. and what i saw out there over time especially was began to be clear was so different than what the public assertions are that i started to have you know some moral problems with it but that turned into something more when i started seeing the of the results of men dying as a result of this in missions that. made no sense and were then later characterized
as big successes but in fact they were not in later in the summer a couple of guys in particular that i had met were killed in action a couple of weeks later and it drives it home pretty strong to get toward the end of summer so i know that for now this is still classified that the da has been allowed to or they haven't been able to release this eighty six page version that has to be has not classified yet is just not been released that's not been released yet but how much how much can you tell us you know you wrote an article a couple of pages today a couple anecdotes so what is it that really you want to share that you can for now with the public well the things that i can share our you know my personal experiences and you know i was able to see you know how the afghan security forces how they perform i went on combat patrols dismounted trolls mounted patrols virtually everywhere that i went to so i could see with my own eyes and then i also interviewed literally hundreds of soldiers to see their perspective as well and times that i couldn't see and i saw
a very consistent picture everywhere that the afghan security forces are very incapable they display very little desire to be capable and the people of afghanistan after you know now into the eleventh year of war showed. no inclination to have any desire to be connected with their government and to support their you know the afghan security forces at the expense of the taliban you just don't see that happening anywhere and those are the very pillars of the opportunity of the ability to have a success in a war like this that they have you seen the unclassified version i've seen the classified report i have not seen the classified report. i don't want to go into specifics i don't want danny to get into any trouble of course but it's a collection of his observations it's a collection of a lot of publicly available data that backs up his conclusions you know and this is cooperated by reports we hear that the national intelligence estimate on afghanistan is saying the wars in the stalemate that we're not achieving our objectives it goes into other information we hear from these leaked reports coming
out of kabul that the taliban feel they are winning that we are not having success that's going to last on the battlefield as well as just the you know any of the media reports you can read you know last week the usa today reported that i.e.d. attacks and devise explosive device attacks were ten percent higher than they were the previous year i mean they want sixteen thousand idea tax against our troops in two thousand that's forty five times a day they have watched attacks a record ok i think the numbers from two thousand and one to two thousand and nine they only lost sixteen thousand i taxi in march as many last year as they didn't previous from two thousand and one two thousand and nine so how can you argue that we're we stop the momentum when they're able to carry out that many attacks and that's true across the board for whatever metric you want to look at well so to me one of the key ones on that very category is when you look from the twenty four months before the surge started as measured by one january two thousand and ten as
you know in the summer of two thousand and one crystal says you know man this mission is in danger of failing because all this stuff and casualties and violence and now we've got a surge what would you measure the u.s. . it's killed or wounded it was about three thousand four hundred and some odd about four hundred killed in the rest wounded if you measure the twenty four months after that it's eleven thousand in something and nine hundred some odd killed so how can you say it's really just that these numbers are out there so why is it that you felt the need to write a report and to submit it to congress do you think we're being duped by the generals let's face it our generals these days are pretty media savvy. there's an entire spin machine working over at the pentagon there is kind of a cup here. and here's why you see the reports all the time you see that this is a cup of water at least that's what you think it is but i'm telling you this is actually a chalice a fine crystal shallots is a wine is a matter of fact and you look at this and you know it's
a blue cup of water no no i've been making challenges for thirty some years and i've been a combat veteran and i'm telling you this is the shallows and so we tell members of congress that despite what you see with these statistics despite what the u.n. says just out with these leaked reports have said. that he mentioned all those things are very clear that a normal person using common sense would say every one of these are clear indicators that you're not succeeding but every single one of those has this machine that you're talking about tell you how actually that's a positive thing somehow that works out to our advantage and for some reason i guess people think well i mean he's been making you know crystal shells for a long time so i mean looks like a blue cup of water to me but maybe it is a shot like maybe you're letting members of congress off a little bit easier there are a lot of people in there that will also have served there a lot of people that have been to iraq been to afghanistan of course the tour that they get is something that is highly controlled. but at the same time you know for purposes of politics do they just let it keep going we talk about how nobody wants
to be soft on defense or soft on terror i mean that's something i can answer but i've been very clear talking about what i have personally done personally experienced and to me. see whether congress is doing that or not i mean they can someone else can decide that but i'm talking about the guys that i'm part of you know i'm a part of the u.s. army i love the army you know i love the army seven values that we live in and what not and what kills me is that the guys who are making decisions and not square with either congress or with the american people that's got to change so that when congress at least has a chance or the president has a chance to make decisions or the american people have a chance to support or not support on something that's accurate and not this constant spin where they're like i don't know i mean they say this but it looks wrong but they say it's right so it puts you in a dilemma why are they getting away with it isn't it their responsibility if they're going to be asking us to foot the bill and they're going to be asking people to sacrifice their lives to be honest about what a war is yeah absolutely it's a responsibility they're constantly constantly charge to do so however there is
a lot of elements of this one the american people are calling their offices and asking to get it for them be concerned about can stand so if you're a politician the best thing to do probably say nothing stick your neck out there but the other party too is there's we've lost sight of what the line is between respect for what respect is for the military and what deference is towards the military and so what happens if you go to a senate armed services committee hearing or you go to the house armed services committee hearing all you see are these heads nodding up and down the room with the generals and so i think what you question is what we've become a society that we're able to send kids overseas have them killed and do the killing and not ask the hard questions that you've got to have break but we're going to continue. and at home we'll be right back.
if you just joined is a very warm welcome this is our top stories now russia and then to the bloodshed in syria only be found if both government and opposition forces lay down their arms and talk that's western and. regime change rhetoric. from damascus also. the fury in the u.k. terror suspect spiritual leader in europe. the streets of london on the european court of human rights deportation. and the first signs of a rift between the u.s. and egypt as washington. changed its position on the
crackdown on. brings up more of those stories in full in. the second part of the early on the show from washington d.c. stay with us for that. more news today. these are the images. from the streets of. operation. i we're back in minutes with daniel davis u.s. army lieutenant colonel and matthew hoh senior fellow at the center for international policy.